event: NHDRO May Bike Fest
when: May 16-18, 2014
where: Lucas Oil Raceway Park, Clermont, Indiana USA
story and photos by Tim Hailey
Frankie Stotz and his Lil’ Honda gettin’ it done
The Brickyard wasn’t the only Indianapolis speed facility to echo with the smooth sounds of turbocharged powerplants this past weekend, as the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series—the NHDRO—opened it’s season at Lucas Oil Raceway on the west side with the May Bike Fest.
In fact, weighing in at 1300cc, a McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa puts out only 25 horespower less than its much larger, twin-turbo, V6 cousins over at the Speedway. And a Pro Street bike puts that horsepower to the ground through one small, street-legal tire—not two massive slicks.
Bud Yoder nearly had it won on his slick new ‘Busa
Frankie Stotz and his Honda CBR1000RR don’t even need 1300cc’s to get the job done. Second generation racer Stotz was the underdog in the final against Bud Yoder, who laid down a 6.970 at 208.68 mph while taking out number 1 qualifier Jeremy Teasley in the semi on his new ‘Busa. Stotz took the tree, but after near-equal 60 foots the Honda wheelied. Yoder thought he had the race in the bag until the ‘Busa skated out of the groove. As he pedaled it back towards the racing line, he saw the white Honda streak past for the 7.24 to 7.45 win. Phil Paoleno won Pro Street B.
Keith Lynn had the 411 on a Pro Comp win this weekend
Turbos were the power-adder of choice in the Schnitz Racing Pro Comp eighth mile class this weekend as well. But the turbo-methanol Kawasaki Funnybike of champion Mark Paquette struggled from the moment it rolled out of the trailer. Paquette made it to the semis, where he was put back on said trailer by Chris Cutsinger.
Although Cutsinger’s turbo ‘Busa continues to develop positively, it was positively no match in the final for the finely broken-in gas/turbo/nitrous Kawasaki of rider Keith Lynn and owner/tuner Roger Gordon. The term “bracket bike” gets thrown around a bit too often, but certainly applied to the candy apple red Kaw this weekend. Lynn qualified number 1 with a 4.11, ran 4.11 in round 1 of eliminations, slipped to a 4.13 in the semis, and rebounded to an .11 in the final for the win over Cutsinger’s 4.47.
Bradley Shellhaas qualified #1 and won Top Gas
Ohio’s Bradley Shellhaas sailed through the Route 21 Top Gas 8.20 index field from the number 1 qualifying position to take the win over Greg Mallett in the final. Shellhaas’ .015 light was the prime determining factor as both bikes ran within .001 of each other.
Cameron Teasley totin’ the wheel to a Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s win
With Jeremy out in Pro Street, the Teasley family honor rested on the shoulders of his younger brother Cameron in Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s. And despite giving up the tree by a wide .016 to .093 margin to fellow finalist Joe Robbins, Cameron was able to collect the win when Robbins broke out. Number one qualifier (and class champion) Ron Arnold uncharacteristically lost in round 2.
Nathan Hollingsworth won the delayed 2013 Streetfighter race and…..
….Ryan Schnitz won this weekend’s Streetfighter race
Tsukigi Racing Streetfighter is the only class that waited to the 2014 opener to decide the 2013 champion, and that honor went to Ben Knight on Saturday, with Nathan Hollingsworth winning the delayed race. Knight lost in round 1 on Sunday to yet another Teasley—oldest brother Brandon—who then lost to Keith Bobo in round 2. Bobo lost round 3 to finalist Shawn Books, who lost a double-breakout final to Ryan Schnitz. Number 1 qualifier Bernard Varner lasted until round 3.
Eric Cooper tuckin’ in old school style
Eric Cooper drove his old school Kawasaki dragbike around Kyle Olson’s ‘Busa in the final of Millennium Trailers Super Comp for that 8.20 index class win. Number 1 qualifier Brian Selner went down early in round 1.
Talk about old school, Thad Neeld 2-stroked his way to the Super Eliminator win
The May Bike Fest included a visit by the always popular, shriekingly loud, 2-stroke Super Eliminator bikes—including a Water Buffalo Suzuki all the way from Australia! But Thad Neeld only had to come from Ohio to take the win when Gary Conners redlit in the final.
John “Spooky” Markham
Jim “Put it on the Underhill tab” Underhill
G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET wins went to John “Spooky” Markham over Jim “Put it on the Underhill tab” Underhill on Sunday, while Underhill won Saturday’s race over Tim Ganey in the final.
Dalton Markham scoring another trophy for the family case
Markham’s son Dalton Markham beat Shannon Clem in Friday’s Pro ET Quick 16 final, while Quinn Orand won Friday’s Street Quick 16 final over Sam Perry
The Ben Knight Tuck helped him earn another Street ET win
Knight also runner-upped to Spencer Claycomb
In addition to his Streetfighter championship, Knight also won Sunday’s Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET in a double breakout final over Chris Doty, after runner-upping to Spencer Claycomb on Saturday.
Jeremy Teasley on “Money Train” during Saturday Night’s grudge session
Port-Tech Grudge saw hot action early as Jeremy Teasley beat Ryan Schnitz for 6 stacks in the light of day. Doug Gall and Teasley both rode the Joe Marasco built NHDRO grudge bikes “Thunder” and “Lightning” to wins. NHDRO promoter Brian Welch (after wife Niki left for the hotel, of course) even managed slip out of the promoter shirt and into leathers for two grudge races on “Lightning” deep into the unseasonably chilly night.
You know you love them, you can’t turn away….the NHDRO bikinis! MORE BIKINIS
The air was considerably warmer around the NHDRO bikini contest, where the action is always hot and humorous. Local beauty Carmen took the final round bikini win over the always-competitive Juicy and her bottle-packing derriere.
The United Corvette Council brought their 2-seater, 4-wheeled beauties to the event, making laps and showing off their charms.
And although rain delayed Saturday’s action a bit, everyone kept dry beneath KD Kanopies until they could get back on track.
Brian and Niki Welch and the whole NHDRO staff thank the NHDRO family of racers and sponsors for their support and look forward to racing again at Title Bout #19—Motorcycle Madness on June 6-8 at National Trail Raceway just east of Columbus, Ohio.
NHDRO thanks Schnitz Racing, McIntosh Machine and Fabrication, Route 21 Racing Apparel, Catalyst Racing Composites, Tsukigi Racing, Millennium Trailers , G&G Metal Spinners, Kevin Dennis Insurance, Port-Tech, and KD Kanopy.
NHDRO point standings
Pro Street – Frankie Stotz (112) followed by Bud Yoder (98)
Pro Comp – Keith Lynn (109) followed by Chris Cutsinger (98)
Top Gas – Bradley Shellhaas (129) followed by Greg Mallett (113)
Street Fighter – Ryan Schnitz (141) followed by Shawn Books (121)
Super Comp – Eric Cooper (123) followed by Kyle Olson (111)
Crazy 8’s – Cameron Teasley (141) followed by Joe Robbins (121) and Shakee Knisely (101)
Street ET – Ben Knight (200) followed by Spencer Claycomb (160)
Pro ET – Jim Underhill (200) followed by John Markham (110)
EARLIER: Teasley, Lynn, Bikinis lead NHDRO
Jeremy Teasley ran the first 6 on “No Fear” (6.985)
Michael Bayes broke his collarbone, some ribs, and punctured a lung when he blew off the blue RMR bike just passed the finishline
EARLIER: NHDRO Ready to Set it Off
Earth rotater Mark Paquette will shoot once again for a 3 second, eigth mile lap
Expect Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis to bust open at the concrete expansion seams when the one-on-one action of the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing series—the NHDRO—opens it’s fourth season May 16-18 with the May Bike Fest, Title Bout #18 in the history of the NHDRO. MIRock and Manufacturers Cup both had their busiest openers ever this year, so NHDRO’s phenomenal growth should continue unabated. And why not? The NHDRO’s family reunion atmosphere and Lucas Oil’s beautifully prepped racing surface make for a perfect weekend every time.
Keith Lynn and Chris Cutsinger aim to knock Paqutte off of his championship perch
Well, perhaps the 2013 Fall Fury Finals weren’t quite so perfect, as rain washed out raceday. Maybe it was only Mother Nature that could stop Schnitz Racing Pro Comp champion Mark Paquette from being the world’s third 3-second, eighth mile motorcycle pilot burning anything other than nitro. Paquette qualified his turbo-methanol Kawasaki Funnybike number 1 with a tantalizing 4.000 at 176 mph but didn’t get a chance to improve on Sunday. Now he has to defend his title against Keith Lynn, Brunson Grothus, Chris Cutsinger and others.
Doug Gall, Pro Street champion!
McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street champion Doug Gall will have his hands full with his title defense, as the most popular Pro class continues to grow and get more competitive than ever. New bikes, new riders, and new combinations will all take their shots at Gall and his oft-raced, turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa. Contenders include recent Milan winner Bud Yoder on his brand new, Terry McIntosh-tuned ‘Busa, veteran rider Phil Stoll on Ronnie Mitchell’s pink “Frenchy,” Frankie Stotz’s Honda CBR1000RR, and Tyler Fisher on Paquette’s no-bar ride. Stotz recently ran 6.90 at Valdosta and is a prime contender to make the class’s first 6.80 pass, and there’s no better place to do that than Indy. Riders who don’t make the top 16 qualifiers will still compete for cash in the B class.
Will Frankie Stotz become Pro Street’s first 6.80 pilot?
Will Ronnie Mitchell and Phil Stoll (seen last year on Rizzo) get Frenchy up to speed?
Tyler Fisher, ran 6.98 at 211 last September on Paquette’s Pro Street bike
Top Gas champ Doug Fisher
Fisher’s dad Doug won the Route 21 Top Gas championship last year and will be fight “Kounselor” Kenny Schwartz, Chad Otts, Rod Bland, Mike “Wags” Wagner, Bradley Shellhaas and others to keep his name on next year’s jacket.
Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s champion Ron Arnold
Gall won the Catalyst Racing Composites Crazy 8s championship in the NHDRO’s first full season, but the man defending that honor this year is Fun For All Motorsports-sponsored Ron Arnold. Arnold’s got to deal with Ben Knight, Brad Gott, Quinn Orand, Clark Proctor and more.
Ben Knight will use his distinctive posture to try and secure the ’13 Streetfighter championship
Knight still has a chance at a 2013 championship of his own, as Tsukigi Racing Streetfighter will decide their ‘13 title at the 2014 opener—the only class to vote to do so. Knight leads Dave Page and John “Spooky” Markham in the class.
Super Comp champion Dalton Markham
Markham’s young son Dalton Markham scored the Millennium Trailers Super Comp championship last year and will be defending against the likes of Fisher, Ceslie Shellhaas, Jim “Put it on the Underhill tab” Underhill, and others.
Brian Selner won G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET Champ of Champs race in September
G&G Metal Spinners Pro ET will feature superstars like Brian Selner, Craig Treble, Jeremy Teasley, Dustin Lee and countless more.
Josh Wood won the Dennis Insurance Street ET Champ of Champs race in September
Ditto for Dennis Insurance Street ET with hot gloves like Josh Wood, Ryan Schnitz, Dustin Burchett, Brandon Teasley, Adam Harris and more.
Super Eliminator superstar Jack Seberger
The first race of 2014 will also include the ear-splitting cackle of 2-stroke Super Eliminator bikes. This popular class features today’s racers pushing 1970s motors to the limits with the help of contemporary technology.
Everybody gets in on the action during NHDRO grudge sessions
Port-Tech Grudge will take over the track on Saturday night, with what has to be THE most entertaining grudge session in the nation, with or without big money races.
Taste it, taste the Twinkie! Want more of those NHDRO bikinis?? HERE YOU GO
And speaking of entertaining and pushing limits, the infamous NHDRO bikini contest takes the humble Twinkie to places that Hostess could never have imagined. They would not be a struggling brand if they hired NHDRO to do their marketing…
For those who like two seats and four wheels, the United Corvette Council will hold court at the May Bike Fest as well.
Brian and Niki Welch and the whole NHDRO staff look forward to welcoming new sponsor KD Kanopy and everyone in the NHDRO family for another fluorescent year of on and off track action. That other Indianapolis track that opens in May might very well look west towards Clermont with envy when the NHDRO May Bike Fest pops off May 16-18, 2014.